November 04, 2014 (Bromont, QC) – Some 300 people gathered on Nov. 2 at the Chateau Bromont for the FQSC’s (Fédération québécoise de sports cyclistes) annual year-end awards gala. The provincial federation honoured many of its cyclists, para-cyclists, coaches, organizers, volunteers, etc. with the Prix du mérité cycliste québécois award. Three honourees were also inducted into the FQSC’s Hall of Fame (Temple de la renommé).
Karol-Ann Canuel (Specialized-lululemon in 2014) was honoured as the feminine athlète par excellence for becoming the first Canadian to ever win a world title in road cycling as part of the Specialized-lululemon team that won the Elite Women’s team time trial (TTT) at the Road Worlds in Spain this September. Canuel also finished sixth in the individual time trial (ITT) at the Worlds.
Serge Arsenault, the organizer behind the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Québec et Montréal (GPCQM), received the prix du Président for these two races—the only UCI WorldTour events in the Americas. There was a short video full of lavish praise for Arsenault, calling him “the only person who could make this happen.” Arsenault then stepped up to the microphone and joked that it was all a lie – he instead attributed the success of the GPCQM to the Quebec and Canadian cycling communities.
Commissaire Louise Lalonde and long-time volunteer Guy Marcotte were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the “builder” (bâtisseur) category. Lalonde spoke about the early days when she was one of the first women commissaires worldwide, facing resistance and intense scrutiny from some of her peers. She worked as a commissaire at many prestigious cycling events including the women’s Tour de France and at six Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Yet the most illuminating and perhaps the most moving speech was given by a blind athlete, Julie Cournoyer who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in the “athlete” category. This para-cyclist rode tandem first with pilot Guylaine Larouche and then with Alexandre Cloutier at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, winning 4 medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). She also won silver and bronze at the 2004 Sydney Paralympics. Despite being a quite talented athlete, Cournoyer related how she depended on her entourage for many things including finding the washrooms and going shopping. She made the audience very mindful of some daily challenges faced by para-cyclists.
Randy Ferguson served as the Master of Ceremonies and at one point did a humorous impersonation of sports commentator Louis Bertrand who, while absent on Sunday, asked Ferguson to relay his congratulations to Lalonde. Ferguson reminded the audience of the importance of media in covering the cycling scene in Quebec and noted two Pedal correspondents, John Symon and Pasquale Stalteri along with Veloptimum’s Guy Maguire in attendance.
For a complete list of those honoured click here.